As a volunteer greeter with B.A.G. for about six years, I can truly attest to the immensely positive effect of the person-to-person experience of a Greet on visitors when they come to New York. Instead of the very impersonal contact with sales clerks, taxi drivers, head waiters, etc., a Greet with a B.A.G. volunteer presents a unique opportunity for visitors to experience an extended interaction with a New Yorker -- hopefully (and in my experience nearly universally) leaving the visitor with the feeling that this city is a warm and welcoming place and engenders a wish to return often in the future.
A number of the visitors I meet with have done just that.
As a one-on-one organization, I know of none more effective then Big Apple Greeters at offering visitors to New York City an opportunity to visit some of the most interesting areas in the company of a New Yorker with nothing to sell and absolutely no ax to grind. As a Greeter, my aim is to showcase the city in a way that leaves my visitors with the feeling that New York is a friendly, welcoming place -- and, hopefully, the wish to come back often.
I serve as a greeter volunteer and find the position truly rewarding. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with visitors from all over the world. It is a lovely way to show visitors our beautiful city, it's architecture, multi ethnic cuisine, the history attached to various neighborhoods, our parks And historic sights. In addition friendships are formed and I wind up maintaing connections with many of our visitors. The Greeter's program is a wonderful way to showcase our magnificent city..
I am a Volunteer Greeter at Big Apple Greeter. As easy as NYC is to get around in, it can be quite daunting to visitors who are not used to a big city. I once had a visit with a couple from Louisiana and they told me that when they came from the airport and first viewed our beautiful skyline they freaked out. They live 50 miles from the nearest store and couldn't imagine wondering around the canyons of NYC. If I had not met them at their hotel lobby to show them how safe and easy NYC is they would never have left their hotel. After our visit they emailed me and told me that they had wonderful adventures around the city and that they would surely return with family members. I've had so many wonderful stories about how visitors lives were changed because of the opportunity to see NYC with a Greeter. Greeters are a major gateway of friendship and kindness to those that visit our great city. Americans as well as foreigners see NYC in a whole new light because of their experiences with us. We need all the support we can get to keep up this important good work.
Big Apple Greeter has my vote. I have been a volunteer Greeter since its inception. Every one of my visitors has expressed how grateful they are to see NYC with a Greeter and what a difference it has made in their trip.
Some of my visitors have returned a few times and so have their friends and family members because of the wonderful experience they had.
I became a Greeter because people who were never here had misconceptions of our great city. Ever since becoming a Greeter I have had the opportunity to help make a tremendous difference to how people view NYC and Americans in general.
If you care about New York City as much as we do and are aware of how important Big Apple Greeter is we hope you can help keep us going.
Please do not let this valuable organization become a forgotten memory in the eyes of the world.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a big apple greeter for just little over 4 months. I have had many successful visits since I have started in December 2011 one week before the new year. I am NYC born and raised and love showing people the place that I call home. Many of the visitors like seeing NYC through the eyes of an everyday New Yorker and not a tour guide.
I have volunteered at this organization for approximately 10 years and it provides me with one of the most socially satisfying things that I do in the world. It gives me the opportunity, on an almost weekly basis, to accompany many interesting people and show them New York, my city, through my own eyes. I believe that this presents an extraordinary opportunity for many visitors, and likewise enriches the lives of volunteers, such as myself.
I have been a volunteer with Big Apple Greeter for approximately 9 years. During that time, I have done visits with literally hundreds of visitors to New York City, many of them from French speaking countries and do the vast majority of my visits in French.
These visits have given me the opportunity to share many off the beaten track views of New York and have allowed for many cultural exchanges with our visitors. These meetings have helped to show the New York that few tourists see and have helped them to see comparisions with their own cultures and governmental systems.
I have taken visitors to far flung locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn and have shown them areas scarcely covered in guide books such as Victorian Flatbush and Brighton Beach with its Russian ambiance. I have likewise done visits to Clinton, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and lower Manhattan and have both taught and learned a great deal.
This organization provides access that is unmatched for this group of visitors. I believe in and support this organization and average 40 to 50 visits per year.
Review from Guidestar
This is a wonderful organization. They match visitors to NYC with residents who then take the visitors out on a walking tour of the City. The tour generally covers the Greeters favorite spots, often off the beaten track. It is a great people to people program and humanizes the visitors NYC experience.
A was born and grew up in Brooklyn eventually getting a free education at Stuyvesant HS and an engineering degree at CCNY. I owe much to this great city and giving back by sharing it with visitors has been a true pleasure. Big Apple Greeter connects me to visitors from every corner of the globe. They employ both internet technology and person to person contact to make it all happen. I hope this valuable organization does not fall victim to the cut backs during this recession. It would be a shame.
Review from Guidestar
I love being a Big Apple Greeter. I show people from all over the world some of my favorite spots in NYC. Now that I have a 6 year old daughter, she comes along whenever I have visitors from out of town that have kids. We like to show parents some playground and amenities for their kids; one of my favorites is the playground by the Brooklyn Bridge Park, which also has Jane's Carousel, a beautifully restored 19th century merry go round. We often then walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and have lunch in Chinatown or Little Italy. People can't believe how reasonably priced a lunch can be. One visitor from Germany thought our Vietnamese meal would be tapas-style, where we'd have to order multiple plates, since the bowls of noodles, soup and rice were $6-$8, but we all filled our bellies with good protein, veggies and starch! They liked it so much, they went back a second time without us.
I've been a Big Apple Greeter since 1996. Initially, my friends thought I was insane for wanting to meet visitors in their hotel lobby, show them around NYC for a few hours and maybe have a snack or a meal with them. Eventually, my friends realized that being a Greeter was a great release for me. I was able to share some of the trivia that I know about NYC with tourists, as opposed to torturing my friends with that knowledge!
I love being a Greeter, as I'm able to share my love and knowledge of New York City with new people. It's a wonderful way to make the world a smaller and better place.
Review from Guidestar
The strength of Big Apple Greeter is in its person-to-person experiences. These flow back and forth from volunteer to visitor. We always like to think we have added something special to a visitor's time in New York but the proof is in being passed along from visitor to visitor's friend, over and over again. It's the joy of having repeat visits from the same family and watching their children grow up; it's also the sadness of watching that same family go through the illnesses that afflict people everywhere. We come to know these people remarkably well just during a day out together because it's a non-stop conversation. It's a really great experience.
I am a former BAG volunteer. This program allowed me to meet some of the most interesting people. Many of the visitors that I helped were most grateful indeed. BAG Program is something that helps NYC in many ways. It builds awareness and it shows the capabilities that New Yorkers have as World citizens.
Please contribute to this great organization and make a viable alternative to potential visitors to the Big Apple.
Long Live Big Apple Greeter and it's amazing staff.
Review from Guidestar
I have volunteered to photograph some of the tours Big Apple Greeter has given tourists here in New York. I go with the Greeter and the few tourists on their trip and photograph the tour.
While I am not the client served, I have found these tours to be just great. They have gone to neighborhoods I have never seen and the guide has taken us around the neighborhood with enthusiasm and a continuing talk and anecdotes about the neighborhood. The Greeters are "natives' to the neighborhoods they show and really love where they live. I find them fascinating and see how the clients do, too. What's more, they give the clients, often from overseas, a chance to spend half a day with a real New Yorker